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Amanda Green, "My First Kiss (And Maybe His, Too)"

When I was maybe five, this boy my mom babysat knocked teeth with me while we played house. Some people might call that a kiss, but I didn't think it counted.

What did count was that 10 years after a boy in Batman underpants tried to kiss me, Justin actually did. He attended a rival high school where we'd met at a weekend performing arts tournament. He'd competed in One-Act Play and Extemporaneous Speaking; I was the reigning Lincoln-Douglas Debate district champion and a mediocre Poetry entrant.

Between competitions, Justin delivered his smooth line: "I've been wanting to ask you something all day – do you have a phone?"

I sarcastically responded, "Me? A phone? What on Earth is that?!" I was hard on the guy. The truth is, I had classmates who didn't have a home phone. I lived in rural Texas in a town with a weeklong school holiday in honor of the livestock show.

Justin was the first boy who'd shown any romantic interest in me. He also happened to be very cute in that all-American strip mall kind of way. In case you're wondering, he was as good at acting as I was at poetry. The entire school was abuzz when I brought my handsome stranger to the home baseball game for the sole purpose of showing him off. He pretended not to notice.

Justin's school beat mine at the game that night, but I didn't care. After ice cream cones at Dairy Queen, we sat in his pick-up truck in the parking lot of an insurance agency. The Top 40 radio station we loved spat out ditty after ditty. Justin looked into my eyes in a terrifying way, as if he were imitating something on his mom's soaps.

I knew he was going to kiss me, and I didn't know how to kiss back. I also knew I would never admit the latter. We held hands for a bit and he leaned in for a peck during "Uninvited" by Alanis Morissette.

I thought the song was an ironic touch. I concentrated on it as Justin's tongue wiggled past my lips and teeth, bumping my gums and I think, even my uvula, as we kissed for the first time. It was dreadful, and now I suspect it was his first, too. At least, that would be a good excuse.

Charles A. Rubin, "First Kiss Revisted"

I had misplaced the memory of the first girl that I kissed until about 2 weeks ago.

From 1966 through 1970 I attended a summer camp about fifty miles north of New York City. I have nothing but fond memories from my summer years there. The camp closed in 1971 and gradually I lost touch with the almost everyone that had peopled those years. Oddly, the woman I married was an alumnus of this camp but we never knew each other at camp and it is not her that this story is about.

This story is about Celia who I met in 1969. Originally, I was drawn toward her sister who was my age and two years older than Celia. There was an unwritten rule in the camp, though, that boys could only be involved with girls a year younger and therefore Margi was off limits. Celia on the other hand was OK. Celia wasn’t like the other girls; she had a head of curly brown hair in an age where you had to have long straight hair, she also wasn’t going to wait for a boy or anyone to talk to her. She made her own friends and made her own choices. I liked being around her because she was funny and opinionated. We were friends and indeed she may have been the first girl that I was ever friendly with.

When we returned home at the end of the summer I began to correspond to Celia (by mail!) since she lived in The Bronx and I in Brooklyn. My father had a thing about the phone bill and would confront me when there were charges for calls. When we returned to camp in 1970 I came with the assumption that we would be boyfriend and girlfriend. Celia had different ideas. We tried and managed a clumsy kiss in her bunk on one of the first nights of camp but we both found other love interests that summer and, in the end, it was the last summer at the camp for both of us.

Recently I discovered a dedicated group of people who had established e-mail list to share photos and reminiscences about the camp. Perusing the photos that had been posted I found one of myself, that Celia had posted. With trembling fingers I sent her an e-mail asking if she remembered me. Within minutes came a reply saying that of course she remembered me, that she had lots more pictures, and a bunch of letters that I had written her. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or mortified.

Three days later we met for lunch in midtown Manhattan after not having seen each other or spoke in 36 years. Celia brought the letters and photographs and other camp memorabilia. It was a wonderful reunion that I didn’t want to end.

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